We have a winner! Earlier this year, we challenged young Singaporean designers to reimagine an everyday object – anything from useful but aesthetically overlooked household staples to under-functioning items of beauty – to compete for the title of the Wallpaper* Handmade Next Generation Singapore Designer.

The call-out, part of our ongoing partnership with the DesignSingapore Council, was open to all qualified Singapore citizens and permanent residents who have graduated in the last five years, and we were looking for talents from the worlds of architecture, fashion, product, graphic, furniture and industrial design. The competition was fierce, the projects ingenious, but earlier this summer our judges drew up a shortlist of four talents – Ellvixson Yap, Josh Ho, Eui Yeob Na and Brandon Yeo.

Singapore Polytechnic graduate Ellvixson Yap is a multidisciplinary designer focusing on user experiences and products as diverse as wristwatches and garbage solutions. He applied with a project called the ‘Hit’ lamp, a touch-sensitive torchlight that varies output based on applied pressure.

Josh Ho is a furniture, product and interiors designer born and raised in Singapore. He has recently completed his Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Design at the National University of Singapore where he worked with brands such as Guerlain, L’Oréal and Kvadrat. His application was a multipurpose tray called ‘Courtney Catch-all’.

Singapore-based 3D designer Eui Yeob Na impressed the judges with his project titled ‘Craftionery’, a set of stationery and desk items that users can build by themselves. ‘Craftionery’, he says, is designed to bring ‘craftsmanship and joy of touch’ to our daily lives.

The winner of the competition, though, is Brandon Yeo, a young industrial designer motivated by ‘the small, euphoric gap between knowing nothing and understanding something’. The projects of this graduate of Product Design at the Lasalle College of the Arts have so far included everything from chairs to glue-guns, portable cleaning devices and jewellery. For our competition, Yeo submitted the ‘Clink’, a whimsical take on a piggy bank.

‘Thoughtful design is a powerful tool for innovation,’ comments Mark Wee, executive director of DesignSingapore Council. ‘We are impressed with all of these shortlisted entries which redefined how everyday objects could look, function and interact with users. As Singapore’s national agency for design, we are committed to help local design talents go international, this includes giving them presence on the global stage and also showing people across the world how Singapore design can enhance the quality of life,’ he adds.

Winning designer Yeo will now be paired with a manufacturer of Wallpaper’s choice to create a design tailored to the Handmade 2019 theme. Then, together with a collection of Wallpaper* Handmade Classics, the winning designer will make its debut at Singapore Design Week in March 2019, before travelling to Milan Design Week in April, and finally returning to Singapore in June 2019 with a newly curated collection of ‘Handmade On Tour’ pieces.

The two exhibitions will display the works of seven other Singapore-based designers selected to participate in Handmade 2019 and its show in Milan: multidisciplinary practice The Asylum, experiential art director and designer Clara Yee, designer and educator Hans Tan, respected fashion designer Lai Chan, industrial design consultancy studio Lanzavecchia + Wai, architecture and design practice Lekker and emerging textile designer Tiffany Loy. §